HOLY-DAMN BUNNIES, GUYS! This 24 hour drama made me lose my fangirl crap! Cue shocked gasp, because I normally never fall for historical/fantasy/martial art/family romance dramas. Why?
Because I’m a dumb-dumb.
Gu Family Book was a crack show that ripped out my heart so many times, I lost count. Our boy, Kang Chi, is a half-human half-fox demon (AKA a Gumiho.) This guy is all that and a bag of Cheeto Puffs! It took me a while to learn that little factoid, because early on he’s MIA for awhile. The drama’s initial episodes are all about Mama and Papa’s hookup so Kang Chi can, you know, exist.
But once the plot gets underway the story kicks into hyperdrive! This drama has got a pretty simple narrative. Hero dude is searching for his inner humanity while trying to stop bad guys from making the country go kablooey.
Kang Chi is a cutie patootie who gets help from some pretty interesting peeps. There’s a second female lead who has a dramatic arc, as well a Gisaeng owner. And trust a fangirl, you’re gonna be hate-to-loving/love-to-hating her throughout this entire ride. Thrown into that mix of cool cats is a pretty likable second male lead.
Quick! Let’s play a game! True or False? Mr. Smexy Pants had me screaming at my laptop, “DAMMIT SOMEBODY GIVE THAT BOY A GIRLFRIEND!”
I hope you guessed True, because if not we can’t be friends. (I kid, I kid…I need all the friends I can get.)
Point being, this is actually an acting gig in which Sung Joon didn’t make me wanna facepalm! That guy has a serious knack for Stiff Upper Lip acting, which is normally a no-go for me. But in this show? It fit his character spot on. This merry band of characters gets rounded out with, of course, a bad guy. Mr. Evil Rape Dude, who I affectionately nicknamed Scar Face, is pretty hateable. Scar Face spends the drama just being a general hemorrhoid in everybody’s ass; yours, mine, and the characters’.
He sucks, but SHE rocks.
Yes, I’m playing the Pronoun Game, so now you have to ask me, ‘Who is “she?”‘ Answer: One of my favorite chicks ever, Dam Yeo Wool. This girl kicks all the butt! She’s a sword-wielding, pants-wearing, hug-worthy, tough, funny, badass. You, my awesome friends, are gonna fall face-first in love with this darling. She’s just plain awesome sauce! Not only is she a cross-dresser, but her hobbies include stabbing bad guys with sharp pointy things. While she’s not actively hiding her real gender, Yeo Wool ain’t hurrying to correct anyone about it, either.
She owns my heart, Kang Chi owns my hearteyes, and those two together own my everything.
Not only is Mr. Hero a tall drink of sexy water, but this poor pup goes through hell and back. He learns he’s a half-demon so he’s busy plotting personal revenge all while trying to Knight-In-Shining-Armor his country. His “take down the bad guy” story is pretty fun…Especially when paired with his romance shindig. I loved that when this OTP’s romance gets romancy, there’s no gay panic on the hero’s part! Granted, Kang Chi doesn’t get heart feels for our heroine until after her vagina-having status was revealed.
But, honestly? That kind of makes my fangirl butt smile.
This gave us a more believable friends-first/lovers-second romance. I, for one, am so here for that.
The show gives us intense feelings and cool martial art fight stuff and funny character humor, and just alllllllll of the things. The characters are enjoyable, the stakes are high, and the story structure/plot pacing are everything! Tonally this is a pretty dark drama, but one that sprinkles in quality comedic relief when needed. I laughed, I cried, I glommed 24 hours of drama in less than 4 days, so yes; the drama’s pretty darn good! It’s cute, funny, emotional, and while not perfect, still recommendable.
Okay. Go away, now, because I’m about to steal your innocence. Spoilers…I’m talking spoilers. (Why do I have to make everything weird?!)
This drama went HARD real quick with the feels. Episodes 2, your heart starts dancing a jig for Human Mama and Gumiho…when all of a sudden THE SHOW EFFING MURDERS THEIR FACES!
Like damn, drama! Give my emotional ass a second to break for a heart attack, would ya? Korean scripts, man; y’all just love putting the hurt on a fangirl, don’t you?
There was so much shiznit that went down in the first half hour of this puppy, AND I WAS NOT READY! 25 minutes into Episode 1, and my butt was crying. Specifically? That beautifully heartbreaking montage of Mama Human being assimilated into the Gisaeng house. The cinematography +the acting + the writing + the haunting music track = ME LOSING ALL OF MY TEARS! Dude, that was one hell of a tragic backstory, so gee, thanks for that writers.
Then again, thanks to that you guys clued my in quick that this story was gonna have lots of sad and a very high body count. Y’all kill off…
- Mom’s brother.
- Mom’s servant.
- Mom’s dad.
- Hero’s adopted dad.
- Hero’s adopted mom.
…and GOOD LORD! You sickos even murdered the heroine in the end, but hey, I’ll cut ya some slack. Yeo Wool’s death was a bit mitigated by Kang Chi just waiting a duck ton of years for her to play the Reincarnation Game. Plus, I mean, the girl’s actual death? THAT WAS SOME FUNNY POOP! I know, I know, I can already feel the fangirl shade, but guys!
Ya’ll know sadness is my kryptonite, but even my cry-baby butt was busting a funny right and left!
There our girl was, all “So I’ve got this bullet in my back that’s totally going to kill me in an indeterminate amount of hours but no worries. I’m perfectly able to sit at a table and have a jolly good time munching food while laughing it up. But remember death’s door, guys. DEATH’S DOOR!”
If I was the only one laughing at that bullet-in-the-back shite, then I quit life. Either the bullet hits a major organ and we’re talking a bleed out within a few hours, or we’re talking infection…which takes days to do the killing. A green-eyed fox demon I can buy with no problem, but death by way of stupid? That’s when my suspension of disbelief plummeted through the stratosphere.
I gotta keep my side-eyeing to a minimum, though, because the drama gave me Dam Yeo Wool!
The scene where Kang Chi plays the Meet and Greet game with the guys at the fight school, but they ignore his ass? Lo and behold, it’s our girl who makes him bow, and them to play nice!
OH MY GOD LADY, YOU ARE MY HERO!
She frequently saves her own ass while occasional rescuing Mr. Distressed Damsel! She ninja-chops cliches while protecting her loved ones. This chick is flat out confidently competent. Any girl that manhandles a half-demon dude in an era women were expected to be docilely submissive…well, that just satisfies my ass on a spiritual level.
Now, while I obviously fangirl hard over homegirl, you can trust that equal emotions get allocated for hero cutie.
Mr. Ovary Exploder slayed me with as many feels as he did with funnies. Poor guy was often the butt of the drama’s jokes. On the flip side, though, Kang Chi undergoes so much growth over the course of the story. I fell as hard for him as he fell for Yeo Wool.
Also let it be known that while I’ve seen an elephant ton of cross-dressing dramas, none of them had a better gender reveal that Gu Family Book!
HE TOUCHED THE BOOB!
Have I died yet? Cause I feel like I’ve died.
If that weren’t enough, then I poop you not, my friends; these writers had the time of their lives slaying our fangirl hormones. This OTP played the Almost Kiss game so often that their sexual tension flew out my laptop and directly into my lady pants. My butt got pranked so many times, convinced these fools were finally gonna smash faces, but nope nope nope. Once more, I forgive the writers, because they did keep my feelings in play. How the hell my heart didn’t liquefy watching this story will be a mystery for the ages. I mean, there is just so much good in this show!
At one point in the drama, we come to the somewhat funny, always awkward “misunderstanding sex joke.”
You’ve seen this play out a thousand times before, but here that cliche delivers a poignant message on the dangers of jealousy. Gu Family Book even tweaks the classic “two dudes getting caught in a compromising position.” You know the one, where the boys appear to be post/mid-coitus?
Now most of the time this “YOU’RE GAY *cue shocked gasp*” shtick ends at that punchline. This drama doesn’t, and instead tops off the scene with commentary on how incorrect assumptions are sometimes both damning and deadly.
Writers, have I told you lately that I love you?
Yeah, sure, y’all frustrated me with your incessant need to drag out the bad guy’s last plot. And admittedly, you shoehorned in a Magic Fix-It reincarnation climax that was neither earned nor well established.Still, at the end of the day you did entertain my chunky butt, so bravo writers. Bravo.
Now have you, awesome fangirls, not seen Gu Family Book? No? Then for the love of air-conditioning, shut my boring face up and go watch it!
If you think I’m funny, or just wanna laugh at my expense then I humbly invite you to attend the soiree that is my YouTube channel. There, I review romance Asian dramas/movies and romance novels. And now you know.